Interviews & Horse Heroes

If you've been glued to following Laura's ‘rise and rise’ on Horse Hero, you'll love the fascinating interviews we have done with her since 2008. In fact, we've tracked Laura's progress since before the Bejing Olympics! She talks to us about her preparation for the big events and gives insights afterwards. We've met Laura's horses, seen her yard, talked to the family and her boyfriend (now husband)! This is your chance to get to know Laura, one of the world's best dressage riders!

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The Bechtolsheimer Yard Tour The Bechtolsheimer Yard Tour
This is the yard that has produced Olympic dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer. It must be one of the most breathtaking modern yards in the world! Dr B explains the thinking behind their Cotswolds yard and its facilities which are designed for maximum horse luxury and human convenience. Facilities include heated stable and arena lights, a multi-coloured drying machine and a spa. In your dreams! Don’t miss it. Dr Bechtolsheimer talks to Fiona Price, February '08.

Interview with dressage rider, Laura Bechtolsheimer Interview with dressage rider, Laura Bechtolsheimer
Laura is one of the stars of the moment. She was the youngest rider to win the National Dressage Championships and the youngest person to represent Great Britain in dressage. Laura talks about the moment she entered the arena at Olympia 2007 to record the highest British score in a Grand Prix and discusses her techniques for total focus during a competition. Now, she's en route for the Beijing Olympics!

The Bechtolsheimers on Laura's early career & the family 'machine' The Bechtolsheimers on Laura's early career & the family 'machine'
This interview shows the Bechtolsheimers as an exceptional family unit and competition machine. Mrs B describes the moment she knew Laura had what it took to get to the Olympics and her progression through the ranks. Laura is trained by her father, who himself rode at top level. Given the intensity of the relationship, it’s refreshing to hear that they remain the best of friends.

Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris & Douglas Dorsey Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris & Douglas Dorsey
These are two special Horse Heroes for Laura Bechtolsheimer. Douglas Dorsey (Doug) put Laura on the map winning the National Championships and was her first team ride. He has recently retired from competition but has a constant eye on Laura at home. Mistral Hojris (Alf), prefers cuddling to competing and was Laura's Olympic ride in Hong Kong. They also achieved the highest British score in a Grand Prix at Olympia 2007 and came close again in '08. Laura talks to Fiona Price, February '08, before the Olympics.

Laura Bechtolsheimer's Post Olympic Interview Laura Bechtolsheimer's Post Olympic Interview
Laura talks about her Olympic experience - the excitement of going to Hong Kong, her preparation and focus, her superstar horse Mistral Horjis (Alf), their acclimatisation, the issues they faced and her devastation at not producing the results she had hoped for. She shares her low moment and explains what happened; she also describes how she pulled herself back from the brink in time for her second dressage test, who supported her and what she's planning next. Laura demonstrates the metal of a world class performer. Look out London 2012! She is accompanied by Alf and interviewed by Fiona Price, in September 2008.

Laura Bechtolsheimer reveals all about Mistral Hojris! Laura Bechtolsheimer reveals all about Mistral Hojris!
It was love at first sight! Laura saw a video of Alf (Mistral Hojris) and knew they were horsey soul mates! The partnership began five years ago when Alf was at Prix St Georges level. It hasn't all been plain sailing though, as he was a bit of a 'problem child'. Laura has taken it steadily and, aged 14, Alf is now a mature Grand Prix horse at the top of his game. Laura says fitness, suppleness, strength and variety are the keys to his routine at home, rather than 'drilling' the moves which he knows. She talks through the conformation of this Danish bred athlete who was her partner at the Beijing Olympics. A charming insight!

Laura Bechtolsheimer prepares for European Champs' Laura Bechtolsheimer prepares for European Champs'

This is a delightful interview with GB team rider Laura Bechtolsheimer and the fabulous Mistral Hojris (Alf). With only two months to go before the European Champs' '09, Laura tells us about Alf's remarkable form this year which includes two Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special victories and a new British record at Lingen, where the pair finished second to Isabell Werth (Laura and Isabell both scored personal bests). Laura talks to Fiona Price about the rise of Alf, the last issues to be ironed out, his routine, why it's essential to be measured against the best and what she feels about performing to a home crowd at the coming Championships.


Laura Bechtolsheimer & Mark Tomlinson - the interview! Laura Bechtolsheimer & Mark Tomlinson - the interview!

This is a turn up for the books! Laura and her 'special friend' polo star Mark Tomlinson talk to Horse Hero's Fiona Price on getting a glimpse into each others worlds. Mark knows nothing about dressage and when Laura gave him a lesson she forbade him from calling it dressage, it was 'educational flatwork'! Mark thinks Laura could do polo because she believes 'she can do anything' and has the body for it! Laura thinks polo is 'rugby for horses' and Mark says polo players need gadgets because they aren't as good as dressage riders. There are, however, similarities between the sports. But you'll have to watch the video to find out what!


Laura Bechtolsheimer, European Champs' heroine! Laura Bechtolsheimer, European Champs' heroine!

Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris (Alf) fulfilled all hopes and expectations at the European Champs' '09 by winning team silver and individual bronze medals, and creating two personal best scores as well as two new British records in the process. Laura talks to Fiona Price about needing to become 'deaf' to medal conversations in order to focus, dealing with different 'Alfs' throughout the show, his stage fright on the first day, the amazing team spirit and the overwhelming emotion after producing the most focused ride of her life to win bronze. She also tells what it was like being stabled next to the Dutch and recalls a funny moment in the press conference!


Laura Bechtolsheimer's amazing 2009! Laura Bechtolsheimer's amazing 2009!

This is a truly delightful interview with Laura and her boys. First we find out what made 2009 a break-through year for Laura and Alf who achieved multiple personal bests and British records, plus two European Champs' medals! Fiona Price meets Alf's potential successor (and newest acquisition) the inquisitive Willow (Telwell). We say hello to Rufus, a youngster, who is ridden by Dr B at the moment and Laura tells us that Andretti is stepping in for Alf at Olympia this year. We meet Stepdance and the enormous Teddy too, both gorgeous 5 year olds. Finally, Laura has a suprise for us - the girls! Horse humour makes this interview very special!


Laura Bechtolsheimer's pre WEG 2010 interview Laura Bechtolsheimer's pre WEG 2010 interview
Laura Bechtolsheimer, world number three dressage rider, talks to Fiona Price about her year to date and preparation for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2010. Having been laid off at the beginning of the season, Laura had two fabulous shows at Lingen and Aachen. She tells Fiona that building up to peak performance for WEG is like preparing for any other big show. Laura talks about Alf's journey to Kentucky, her psychological preparation and says that her partnership with Alf has matured and their work is now solid. Alf has even got over his dislike of clapping! Alf has as much to say in this interview as Laura!

Laura Bechtolsheimer's triple medal glory, WEG '10 Laura Bechtolsheimer's triple medal glory, WEG '10
Three silver medals, three personal bests and three British records, all at the World Games! Laura talks to Fiona Price about the journey to WEG, the limitations of quarantine, the logistical challenges at Kentucky Park and her emotional and psychological 'journey' throughout the competition to medal glory! She describes the pressure on her going last in the team competition, after great performances from team-mates Fiona, Maria and Carl and her battle with nerves. "A medal was there for the taking, I just had to make sure nothing slipped," she said. "The feeling on the final halt was an indescribable mix of relief, excitement and disbelief."

Laura Bechtolsheimer's pre-European Champs' interview 2011 Laura Bechtolsheimer's pre-European Champs' interview 2011
Just days before leaving for the European Champs' 2011 with Mistral Hojris (Alf), Laura Bechtolsheimer talks to Fiona Price about her season so far. 2011 has been an exciting year for the pair with great results putting Laura into the 'number two' spot in the world. Even when things haven't gone to plan, such as Alf's colic at Hagen and the Totilas media circus rattling Laura's cool at Aachen, their scores have remained consistently high. Laura explains how she has re-focused her attention for the Europeans and her excitement about the British team competing there. She also talks about her plans for Alf in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics.

Laura Bechtolsheimer prepares for the London Olympics 2012 Laura Bechtolsheimer prepares for the London Olympics 2012
British dressage star (and world number three) Laura Bechtolsheimer talks to Fiona Price about her preparation for the London Olympics, which are less than 20 weeks away! Fiona finds out how Laura is dealing with the pressure of a Games on home soil with high expectations for gold from the Brits and what she feels about having top ranking team members snapping at her heels! Laura talks about her fitness regime, the work with her sports psychologist and Alf's preparation. With team gold at the European Championships '11 and personal medals at WEG and the Europeans behind her, things look promising for Britain's golden girl!

Laura Bechtolsheimer's final preparations for London 2012 Laura Bechtolsheimer's final preparations for London 2012
Laura Bechtolsheimer and Alf are just a few weeks away from contesting their second Olympic Games. Still only in her 20's, Laura tells Horse Hero's Fiona Price that London feels different to Beijing, as their achievements are greater and they are established as a partnership. However, this brings greater expectations! Laura has had a good year leading up to the Games and Fiona asks about the pros and cons of performing on home soil. Laura explains her last project with Alf before London and tells Fiona about her plans for the 17 year old star afterwards. She also reveals who the youngsters are that will eventually follow in Alf's footsteps!

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